Thursday, May 12, 2016

Supreme Court rejects #CREDAI ’s plea on #NGT 's May 4th order on 75 metres buffer zone around #Bengaluru lakes

In a major setback for developers across Bengaluru, the Supreme Court of India refused to allow the Petition filed by CREDAI against the May 4th order of the National Green Tribunal mandating the extension of buffer zone around lakes from the existing 30 metres to the 75 metres. The association had prayed for the existing buffer zone of 30 metres to be maintained till the disposal of the Appeal. The Supreme Court of India refused to interfere with the orders of the NGT and dismissed CREDAI’s Petition on the ground that it is not a recognized association of builders.

The NGT delivered a landmark verdict on May 4th, 2016 in an Application filed by Namma Bengaluru Foundation and other civil society groups against various illegalities in the execution of a large mixed -used project by Mantri Techzone Pvt Limited and Coremind Software Pvt. Ltd. coming up the ecologically sensitive area between Agara and Bellandur Lake. The verdict includes directions to the Authorities to extend the Buffer zone around lakes from 30 metres to 75 metres. The NGT has also imposed a penalty of 130 crores on the developers.
On hearing the Appeal filed by the developers against the verdict, the Apex Court has directed them to stop any further construction on the project site and has directed them to restore 3 acres and 10 guntas of encroached lake land to the concerned authorities.
With regard to the payment of the penalty by Mantri, after hearing their submissions, the Bench provided a very limited relief by granting a stay on the payment of penalty alone, at this stage. The Apex Court has clarified that Mantri shall not carry out any further constructions at the project site and that all other directions of the NGT in its order dated 04.05.2016 are unaltered and shall remain operative.
The Apex Court also directed the State authorities to identify and demolish all offending structures which fall in the said buffer zone or lake bed area. Further it was observed by the Apex Court that the issues which are being raised in the instant appeal essentially pertain to issues of facts which shall be dealt with after hearing all the parties in detail, in this regard.